Oceanfront Living… Do the Cons Outweigh the Pros?

It goes without saying what the pros of oceanfront living are but, just in case…O.C.E.A.N.F.R.O.N.T!

In Hawai’i you can live beachfront which just as the name suggests, has a beach fronting your property or you can live oceanfront. Oceanfront typically means either there is a rocky shoreline with access to the ocean or no direct access to the water.

Now that we’ve established some subtle differences in seeing nothing but blue… here are the cons.

1. It can be expensive. As of December 6, 2017 in West and South Maui, there are 24 ocean/beach front residential listings ranging from $1.9 million to $28 million. There are 7 vacant lots ranging from $1.75 million to $11.9 million however, there are 103 waterfront, fee simple condominium units and their range is $299,000 to $6.45 million. Lots of options in that condo category!

2. The things you may see…not just our wonderful sea creatures such as seasonal humpbacks, dolphins, turtles or fish (a definite pro). There could be swimmers, snorkelers, sailors, sunbathers, stand up paddle boarders and surfers, a live sport show right outside your window. Beaches in Hawai’i are not private so, beach goers using public access could make your experience a little less private. This one could be a tie as to whether it’s more con than pro.

3. The sun, the sun. You know what’s not great about a Maui sunset? A good, hot Maui sunset….at dinnertime.  Imagine its August, 5 o’clock, 94 degrees and there’s nothing but hot rays on you while you stand at the stove.  Leaving you to wonder, why didn’t I just grill tonight? There is also a dance all locals perform as to which windows to open and close at certain times of the day to provide the best, cooling relief if there’s no AC.

4. Not just the heat but the damaging effects of UV rays to exterior paint, artwork, furnishings and cars and the like. Great window and or lanai covers can be worth every penny.

Sunset view from Puamana in Lahaina

5. Salt and ocean spray. Also as damaging to exterior and interior areas (especially stainless steel appliances and any metal). A good landscaping plan of hearty plants that can handle the conditions is a necessity for your oceanfront home.

6. Erosion. It can happen to any property that deals with the effects of the pounding surf. Has the property had this problem in the past? How was it dealt with? If it’s occurring now or expected in the future, how has the association (if a condo) planned for it? Single family home owners will need to know how to prepare as well.

7. The toys you’ll need for all those ocean activities and the storage to keep them to enjoy all that you see everyone in #2 doing. Available storage for these fun items should be considered. Garages are not common in condominiums, especially vacation rental options.

You may need to rent additional storage offsite for not only your things but, if you plan on storing a car. Not all properties allow for car storage, even in an uncovered parking spot.

With all the joys and wonder that waterfront living can provide – I think if you see the sea, it makes you happier….there are negative points to consider and hopefully overcome. If you think beach or oceanfront living is for you, I can help and I hope I get invited to the BBQ!

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